STEWIACKE – Sheldon Dorey had mixed emotions about leaving, but he just couldn’t give up the opportunity to go home.
After 17 years as the Town of Stewiacke’s chief administrative officer, Dorey said his goodbyes on Sept. 1.
“I still consider it home,” said Dorey, of Nunavut, where he grew up and is returning to. “I still keep in touch with the people there. When I left 17 years ago, I sort of didn’t think I’d go back. When I left, I don’t know if I should’ve left.”
Dorey has taken on the role of senior administrative officer of Baker Lake, close to his hometown of Repulse Bay. He and his wife moved to Stewiacke for family reasons – to give their three children a better education and family life. The children, he says, are remaining in Nova Scotia.
On his last day in the town hall, staff celebrated Dorey with cake and homemade doughnuts, and visitors were able to sign a shirt Dorey is taking with him.
“Stewiacke is a beautiful little town,” he said. “It’s the quietness that I really enjoy, and it’s close enough to everything.”
Throughout the years, Dorey is proud of the work council has been able to accomplish, such as replacing almost all their sewer and water lines.
But, he said one thing he wished he’d seen done in his time is a new town hall and library. It’s something he’ll be keeping a close eye on from Nunavut.
“The town is remiss by not completing that new town hall and library. I understand why they don’t – they don’t want to raise taxes. But it’s one I hope they’ll move forward with.”
Dorey said he’ll know the town will eventually have a new town hall and library, however.
“It’s much needed. Stewiacke is a growing town and it will continue to grow. Having a nice town hall shows you’re a progressive town.”
As current mayor, Wendy Robinson is disappointed to see Dorey leave. They’ve worked together over the last nine years.
“I’ll miss the ability to speak to him about anything at any time, good or bad,” said Robinson. “We’ve become friends. I think we both understand the professional line and I feel we’ve developed a friendship over the years.”
Robinson said Dorey has been able to guide council in the direction of financial stability, and he should be proud for that.
“I firmly believe Stewiacke is in the financial position it is because of Sheldon’s budgeting. We’re in an enviable position of many towns,” she added.
While he’s not much for social media, such as Facebook, Dorey admits he might join the popular site to keep an eye on things and “express my feelings freely.”
Dorey and his wife flew out of Nova Scotia on Sept. 7 headed to Winnipeg. From there, they’d arrive in Baker Lake the following day, and Dorey was to start his new position on Sept. 11.
“I’m hoping I’ll still enjoy it,” he said, adding many do but leave, then the enjoyment is gone when they return. “I love the people, they’re very friendly. I love the openness there, the freedom and the fresh air. The outdoors is just fabulous.”